Maryland's starting center, Buck Williams, apparently suffered a fracture of the ring finger on his right hand during practice yesterday and could be lost to the Terrapins for as long as four weeks.

Williams, a 6-foot-8 sophomore from Rocky Mount, N.C., was the Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the year as a freshman, leading the league in rebounding while playing power forward for the Terps.

Because he failed to recruit a top center, Coach Lefty Driesell moved Williams to center this year between junior forwards Albert King and Ernest Graham.

"We were just running the fast break and he came down on it and hit his hand against somebody," Driesell said after practice. "I didn't really see it that clearly. I just heard him holler."

Williams was taken to the university infirmary for preliminary X-rays and will be examined today by team physician Stan Lavine.

"It's disapponting to have this happen right before the season starts," Driesell said. "But this is all part of the game. It could be a lot worse. dI hope he won't be out too long."

Driesell said he will start 6-10 sophomore Taylor Baldwin at center against Eastern Short and will make a decision on what to do about the position as the games come up. The Terps will play Penn State Monday night and Georgetown Wednesday.